Small Bites – Practical Tips for Farm Resiliency – I Statements

Practical Tips for Farm Resiliency – I Statements

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and family well-being. They are written by coaches from UMaine Extension’s Farm Coaching team. Farm Coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm families. 

TIP: When expressing yourself to others in your workplace or family, using “I-statements” or “I-messages” can help. I-messages are about your own feelings and needs and requests. I-messages are not accusatory and do not carry blame. I-messages carry your own impression and relay clearly how you were impacted by a situation or interaction. I-messages let the people around you know what is going on for you, what you are feeling, what you are in need of, or how an interaction differed from your expectation. I-messages clarify and ask for something different next time.


  •  “I am feeling so frazzled because I need to finish inputting data into our new webstore. I really could use help with dinner tonight. Would you be able to pitch in around 5 and clean the kitchen and chop some potatoes to help?”
  • “I felt really frustrated yesterday when the delivery got off so late. The chef at the hospital needs everything before 2 pm, so when things run late, I feel really unsettled. I feel like it reflects on me. Could we do a bit more this afternoon to prep for tomorrow’s harvest so that  the delivery can leave here ½ hour before the deadline? That would really ease my stress level on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
  • “Hey guys, good morning. Thanks to whomever swept up the greenhouse floor last evening. That was really great to walk in on this morning. I did notice that there are still a lot of harvest totes in the van and unwashed ones on the pallets. I gotta say little things like that get under my skin. I wish they didn’t….I am working on it!! I know people forget. Let’s all get back into that 5 minute tidy-up at the end of each day. That would help me and our morning routine a lot. Thanks.”

Check out the Supporting Relationships for Farm Success website for resources and information about I-Statements and how to sign up for Farm Coaching.